Michael Healy-Rea: report said he hid ‘behind the veneer of a friendly/simple country yokel’ but was ‘unbeatable electorally’. It claimed he had a ‘vicious temper . . . he is not like his more collegial father in that regard.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has accused Fine Gael of “looking down their nose” at him after party strategy documents accused him of hiding beh(...)

Senator Hildegarde Naughton (above) has a “strong public image” but “poor knowledge of the political landscape”. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Fine Gael could be damaged in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s Mayo constituency because of “real concerns over perceived lack of Government delivery”, accordi(...)

Senator Katherine Zappone:  said it  was regrettable it had taken successive Irish governments more than 20 years to legislate for gender recognition. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The formal recognition of the identity of transgender people was a mark of the growing maturity of Irish society, Tánaiste Joan Burton told the Sean(...)

Fine Gael Mayo TD John O’Mahony said he has made no ‘final decision’ over whether he will move constituency to Galway West for the general election. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

There is increased speculation that Fine Gael Mayo TD John O’Mahony will move constituency to Galway West for the general election after the loss of (...)

 A group of asylum seekers from the Eglinton direct provision centre Salthill, Galway,  who gathered to speak to Irish Times journalist Carl O’Brien in Galway recently. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

In classic Government understatement, a confidential document described Ireland’s direct provision system as “not ideal”. The same document adds, howe(...)

Senator Ronan Mullen with asylum seekers Maurice Kiesse, Patricia Murambinda and Gerald Musekiwa before his Private Members’ motion in the Seanad. Photograph: Alan Betson 3:03

Internal Government briefing material claims any alternative to the direct provision system for asylum seekers may result in a “pull factor” for those(...)

Hildegarde Naughton: ‘What is happening now is a review of the situation as the programme comes to a close.’ Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Fine Gael Senator Hildegarde Naughton has said Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar should address the Seanad to clear up any confusion about the futu(...)

Direction issued to An Garda Síochána over access to solicitor following Supreme Court judgment

Suspects in Garda custody can now have their solicitor present during interviews after a major policy shift by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DP(...)

 Ivana Bacik: costs could be minimised by using existing District Court structures and procedures, and by limiting the pilot court to offenders who pleaded guilty to summary offences only. Photogaph: Cyril Byrne

The Cabinet has accepted a proposal from Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to establish a pilot community court in Dublin city centre(...)

Senator  Hildegarde Naughton said the costs involved in the establishment of  Irish Water were justifiable and “should have been published in itemised fashion from the outset and defended”. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

The Irish Water “debacle” could have been avoided by straight talking at the outset, a Government Senator has said.Criticising the way the costs invol(...)